Quantico: They'll Be Watching

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Because the surveillance state is the television’s new black, this week’s episode’s focuses on all the ways we’re being watched. As usual, the past and present will be recapped separately to make it easier to figure out what actually happened, or if it’s all just time-jumpy sleight of hand.


Back in Academy Daze

There’s a too-clever switch from Booth in the shower with Vasquez in the Apres Le Bomb timeline, to Booth back at Quantico in the shower with Alex. With all those rules wouldn’t they have some kind of no fraternization during training clause? Also, aren’t they sharing a bathroom with a whole bunch of other people? Way to ick out your roommates.

alex booth shower

Then there’s more blah-blah-blah about what everyone’s Facebook relationship status is. Vasquez is giving Rai-Nimah advice about dating gay men because they have to give Vasquez something to do in at least one of the timelines. There’s some excruciating dialogue between Shelby and Caleb. Caleb thinks Shelby likes Brandon. But she doesn’t. It’s Vasquez who likes Brandon, so hilarity ensues when Caleb sends Brandon off on a wild goose chase. Is this show being written by ‘tweens for ‘tweens? Also is Brandon the same random NAT not in the main cast we met last week? Because that totally makes him look good as the real perp, like they on the cop shows.


Elias has left Simon a “Do you want to talk?” note because despite being super smart, witty, and awfully cute, he is a sad gay man in love with a straight man because why not bring out an old retired for being offensive trope?

Then it’s time to switch to the grown-ups. Miranda’s son Charlie is home from juvey, and Miranda doesn’t know what to do with him. She misses work because women can’t handle motherhood and careers. Liam comes over to check on her, and she decides having the semi-alcoholic screw-up ex-partner and boyfriend what ruined her marriage (and maybe led to her husband’s death) babysit her son is the smart move.

The NATs are learning all about D2, which neither a vitamin nor an insecticide, but some kind of “data-mining” slash all-encompassing surveillance thingy. An instructor we haven’t seen before tells the NATs that D2 allows the FBI to watch what’s happening online while it’s happening. In other words, in the US surveillance state, you don’t watch Hulu. Hulu watches you.

Liam has a chat with Charlie. Charlie insists his mother made the whole school-shooting plan up. Wouldn’t it be a twist if he were telling the truth? But this isn’t even something that Liam chooses to explore. Instead he makes a point of borrowing a copy of War and Peace from Charlie’s bookshelf because naturally Charlie has one, and then he puts a bug in it because it’s not like anyone ever opens those purely decorative hardcovers, or that Charlie would ever suspect his mother’s former squeeze of doing anything sneaky.

At the academy, everyone is coupled off and having intense conversations with each other while they are supposed to be listening in on a fake scenario at Hogan’s Alley. Why isn’t the teacher making them stay in detention for not paying attention? Rai-Nimah who is probably Raina is partnered with Simon who seems to be trying to ask her out, but she has to run back to her room to trade places with the other one, so off she goes like Cinderella at the ball, and didn’t Simon sort of figure this thing out like week one when he noticed the hijab thing, and the left handed/right handed thing, and the how does she get to the classroom first even though she was just in her room thing?


Raina tells Nimah to tell Simon that this madness must end – because Nimah’s the one that’s good at shooting him down, and it must be done, even though they don’t believe he’s gay, and one of them really likes him, if only any of us still cared about which one that was.

Miranda returns to the classroom. She asks Caleb if he understands the point of the lesson, and his answer is they’ll now have to surveil each other, secrets will be revealed, and important lessons will be learned. Obviously, he’s been reading the recaps. Except, surprise! This week they’ll be doing something totally different. Miranda’s decided it would be a great idea to have the NATs surveil her, which of course means surveilling her son. Doesn’t sound like there could be anything illegal or unethical about that, so why be a stickler? Besides, what teacher doesn’t secretly long to have her students know every single thing about her life? (Answer: No teacher. Ever.)

welcome back

That’s right. Every teacher is entitled to a private life.

Alex and Booth are sitting in a van like real cops doing surveillance on TV shows. Booth’s even brought coffee – stolen from Simon’s stash, which is fine because we all know Simon doesn’t even drink coffee.

Then there’s some interference with the sound and Booth goes to fix it, but he runs into Liam who doesn’t know about the whole surveilling Miranda thing, and hilarity ensues when Liam spills the beans about Booth’s top-secret spying on Alex assignment and Alex overhears every word. Boy, is she mad!


You’d have thought the earpiece might have been clue that somebody was listening.

Rai-Nimah blows the surveillance exercise in order to have tea with Simon, who is actually a closet tea-drinker. He comes clean about faking the gay, and instead of saying “That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard,” Rai-Nimah lets down her hair, literally, and they decide to spend their coming “day off” together. Which twin was this? Who knows by this point?

After finding out that she’s been spied on, Alex confronts Booth who insists the sexytime was real. That’s not good enough for Alex. Then she talks to Liam who claims he ended Booth’s spying assignment because he realized what an “asset” Alex would be. Alex tells him he was just doing his job and they’re good. Except they’re not because she’s bugging his computer. Remember the lesson: TRUST NO ONE, and also check your books for bugs.

Miranda and Charlie have some kind of confrontation in front of the school he didn’t actually blow up. They both refer to a “note” he left that she found, and because we don’t actually know what the note said, we still don’t understand any of this.


Remember how in the first episode, Simon entered Rai-Nimah’s room without knocking? Apparently that’s a habit of his because he does it again. This time he sees both of them, but for some reason he walks into the room, so one of them closes the door, and somehow he manages to trip and hit his head and pass out because doesn’t that happen to you every time you bump into furniture? Then when he comes to he’s locked in their private bathroom while one of the twins – probably Raina, is out looking for Miranda, and the other one – probably Nimah – is leaning again the door.

rainimah and Simon

Apres Le Bomb

It looks like Alex is still holed up in the hotel. Shelby is visiting, and enjoying quite the spread from room service. Alex comes out of the shower in one of those terry-clothed robes the swankier places offer. Who’s footing the bill? Remember all that worry last week about the whole shoot to kill business? It’s not a problem if you just stay indoors the entire episode.


Alex wants Shelby’s help getting to her suspect du jour – Caleb. Every week Alex focuses on a different ex-NAT and is absolutely convinced of that person’s guilt until important lessons are learned.

Shelby can’t imagine Caleb as a terrorist. But of course both she and Alex are relying on information we don’t have yet.

Alex calls Booth, who is in bed with Vasquez. Alex wants more footage of Grand Central. Booth goes to use the bathroom, and Vasquez checks his phone, but it looks like the call came from Liam. Then Vasquez steps into the shower with Booth for some quick nooky, and also because she’s not letting him out of her sight for a second.

At headquarters, we finally see Caleb in this timeline. Even though almost a year has passed, he looks the same, and no he isn’t wearing the Facebook profile glasses. He’s in charge of the D2 stuff because he’s become “the fastest rising agent in the agency’s history.” Wait a second, does that mean he jumped from being on the analyst track to the agent track? How is such a thing even possible?

Also Jacob from Lost, a.k.a. Deputy Director Clayton, is his father, and while it makes sense that maybe Caleb would use another name in the academy because his father is a grand pooh-bah, it still doesn’t explain the “Mark Reynolds” identity.

Simon stops by Alex’s hotel room and agrees to bug Caleb’s computer so that Alex can watch it from her room because now, like Shelby, he’s completely trustworthy and totally devoted to Alex. But here’s the catch – Alex can’t change anything or move things around on Caleb’s computer without his seeing. When Caleb throws some footage into his trash, she’s convinced this must be the missing piece that will solve everything, so she gets Simon to wait till Caleb leaves his desk and she can copy it unto her screen.


It’s just a shot of Caleb and his father. Shelby insists it’s just “family drama.” But then Caleb comes back and starts looking for other images of his dad and finds one of his father and Shelby kissing at Grand Central station a few days before the bombing. Shelby tells her sordid story to Alex. They didn’t want this to happen and the whole vacation in Argentina thing was really a few days together at a local hotel trying to figure out if any of this was “real.”

jacob and shelby

Alex is all, “Girl, why didn’t you tell me?” And Shelby reminds her that Alex betrayed her trust in a past episode we haven’t seen yet.

Shelby then confronts Caleb, and they rehash more of their past stuff including the parts we don’t know about yet. Also Caleb’s mom is in political office, which is why his parents can’t get divorced even though they don’t live together. If we’ve learned anything from Scandal and The Good Wife, we’ve learned that all “political marriages” are fraudulent.

Vasquez, despite her prior coziness with Booth, tells Liam she thinks he’s in contact with Alex. Remember today’s lesson was TRUST NO ONE.

My wild card theory last week that one of the twins would die in training was proved wrong when Alex and Simon spot a twin in a photo. Alex goes from being totally convinced Caleb is guilty to being totally convinced that “It’s them” or at least one of them. Simon looks devastated.

So next week we finally get to see Raina or Nimah, or both, or their secret triplet, in the Apres le Bomb timeline. Stay tuned. Important lessons will be learned!


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Marion Stein

Marion writes television recaps and reviews for the Agony Booth, and books you can find over at Amazon.

TV Show: Quantico

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